378 Protestations

In a time of national danger and an explosion of print and debate, the Protestation Oath of 1641 was a remarkable act of nation building. But it’s success did nothin to divert Charles’ closest advisers, the Queen and Edward Nicholas  from the plan to build a royalist party.

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Anyway, Charles in in Edinburgh, and feeling rather ground down by events, and the relentless nature of the Covenanters; he has extended the hand of friendship but Argyll and his colleagues have made it pretty clear that said hand is nothing more than their due, and he’s jolly lucky still to be attached to it anyway, so there are no special favours to be had. Edinburgh meanwhile was absolutely rammed with armed men – all the magnates had brought their retinues with them. As was their wont, so the place was something of a tinder box, with rumours and intrigue, but nothing in the king’s attitude did anything but calm things down – he was being something of a lamb, meek and mild.

Then towards the end of September, strangely Charles began to get a bit more flinty. He really held the line about his people, the incendiaries, like Montrose. He argued tooth and nail about the composition of his Privy Council, and insisted on presenting a list of possibles from which parliament could choose – rather than the other way round, as Argyll argued. The creation of the list would of course preserve the greater part of the prerogative. So, this was strange; the sweetness and light appeared to have gone for some reason why could this be?

Well, the answer was shockingly revealed on Monday 11th October 1641 when news broke; Argyll and Hamilton were going to be arrested and forcibly removed from parliament, as traitors to the king and architects of all the king’s woes. It was another plot, another coup. Faced with the prospect of naked force – and probably fighting on the streets, Argyll and Hamilton fled the capital to Hamilton’s fortified house near Falkirk. Edinburgh was in a foment, and as I say, stuffed with armed men so now the news was out, any attempted coup would have a hard time ahead of it.

And then on the 12th, Charles appeared at Parliament in the company of 500 men, accompanied by many of the nobles who had signed up to the Cumbernauld Band the year before. Montrose’s royalist and anti Argyll allies.

Well this was dramatic. Charles took the floor. His emotional protestation would have won multiple BAFTAs and the automatic award of an equity card. There were tears, gentle listeners, tears that dropped like holy water into the ragged red sore of conflict. He poured forth his deep regret and pain at this ‘Incident’. His protestation included vehemently and passionately asserting his innocence of any connection with the coup, he talked of his love for his old mucker Hamilton – with whom he had been sharing a bedroom in Edinburgh it should be noted. The coup had failed.

The investigation revealed that there was indeed a coup, led by one Will Murray, and a group of army officers. There was indeed a body of militia waiting in the wings for the call, with the support of a Lieutenant general, and it had been planned to spring that day. But one of the conspirators, John Hurry, changed his mind in a hurry, ha ha ha, in the wee hours of Monday morning and spilled the beans to Lord General Alexander Leslie, who immediately and with dispatch took those beans to Argyll and the news was out. If it had been pursued without the benefit of surprise, there can be little doubt of the resulting blood bath.

Now then. People who know these things – proper historians – debate about whether or not Charles knew about this. There is no smoking gun, no letter from Charles saying something like ‘the Russian Bear moults in winter’ to trigger the coup. But Will Murray was very close to the king, part of his Bedchamber. Most people were convinced at the time that he was guilty as charged, but it rather favoured the Covenanter cause that they should after all. I leave it to your gut instincts to make a judgement.

But it was, for sure, the end of Charles’ flintiness. He was forced to cave in on the issue of his new Privy Council, now stuffed with the supporters of the Covenanter cause. He was indeed, as he had feared, no more powerful than the Doge of Venice. Not that I could present you with an evaluative framework of how to carry out such a comparison. Anyway, Hampden and Fiennes of course dashed a report off and sent it south – where the news of a second attempted coup would do no end of good to the Reformer’s cause.

So we’d better go back down south then, and pick up the story there. And to be honest with you, if you are essentially rooting for the cause of Reform you’ll be worried and if you are a Carolean it’ll put a smile on your cheeks. Do you have sides I wonder by the way? It’d be interesting to know…I did worry a bit about talking about all the politics and nuance – I could have just gone for a blockbusting Good Old Cuse approach, or fly a flag for Charles the Martyr. Might have been more fun? Oh well, too late now, back to the gum bleeding. Anyway, what had been happening in the Houses of the Mice while the King Cat was away with his Scottish cheese?

Well, one of the things that had happened was that England, and London in particular was awash with print, the word of publishing had gone nutty. Printers were setting up everywhere, and flooding the street with pamphlets, newsheets – a trend that let me promise you will continue in spades and we’ll come back to. London was already chaotic enough; I have often wondered – have I said this before? – that if Charles had made like his Dad and removed parliament to Oxford, the English Revolution might never have happened. One ambassador, French I think, said at the time ‘London is the only rebel’ – an exaggeration, but there’s a kernel in there. London was growing like topsy, driven by migration from English regions as much as organic growth – In fact it relied absolutely on the rumours that its streets were paved with gold. They weren’t by the way, more poo than gold. In 1600, it’s 200,000 people, in 1650 it’s maybe 400,000 by 1700 it’s up to 600,000. I mean – its insane. The East end in particular was exploding in population – 21,000 in 1600, 91,000 in 1700. There were all kinds of nationalities – Irish, Dutch, Scandies, Flemish, French protestants, Black Africans through trade networks, Indian Sailors from Bengal as the East India Company grew, building a dock there in the 1640s as London’s reputation for ship building grew. Out here there was terrible over crowding – there was lots of building along the river in particular, but it couldn’t keep up and buildings were shoddily made; existing tenements were often divided up smaller and smaller. And the smoke! All those coal and wood domestic fires transformed the London skies into a fug; from Hampton court a Dutchman was amazed that he couldn’t see St Pauls anymore ‘too much obscured by smoke‘ to see.  The smell was pretty excruciating too; John Evelyn thought it was damaging everyone’s health, as you could see in the churches

Was there ever such a coughing and snuffling, where the barking and spitting is incessant

Of course the physicians couldn’t do much about it; I rather like the John Chamberlain’s quote that they did more hard than good with their potions

So that I am now resolved to commit myself to good order and government and let physic alone, and if I had done so from the beginning I make no doubt but that I would have been a sound man by this time[1]

In terms of the poos actually there was a system for clearing out everyone’s sceptic tanks, the Nightsoil men managed and licensed by one of the Alderman of the City; apparently things get much worse in the 19th century with the arrival of running water which makes all those tanks overflow, but that’ll be for the future. Something to look forward to. But there are loads of other sources of filth; the separation between town and country was not the binary thing it is now. People kept pigs; I mean why wouldn’t you, like is always better with a piggy around the place. But it is undeniably smellier. There was all the detritus from abattoirs and Vegetable markets. And we’ve talked about the Apprentices. David Lupton in 1632 was astounded by the variety and chaos of it all

She’s certainly a great world, there are so many little worlds in her

Everything was buzzing; the Thames is relatively quiet these days; back then there were 20,000 boatmen plying their trade alone. That’s a lot of boat.

A massive part of the general hubbub was the explosion of print, which only got worse  or better – with the destruction of the body that was responsible for censoring it – the Court of Star Chamber. In March 1641 for example, the print house of the Calverts, Giles and Elizabeth, was working away in the area around St Pauls, like so many others. Their place had a cellar, a shop with a street frontage, four rooms above the shop, and a little yard behind the property with the privy. The Calverts were not only printers; their shop at the sign of the Black Spread eagle would become known as a destination for radicals – a place to stay, to meet, to have their post sent to, to have their scandalous literature printed and distributed. They would become known buy their opponents as a seller of ‘soul poysons’, their print shop described as the ‘Forge of the Devil’. The Calverts were a team; whenever Giles was locked up for a period, Elizabeth would carry on the business; after the Restoration things got much harder as censorship got tighter again, but after Giles’ death Elizabeth kept going – despite being burned out by the fire of London in 1666; in 1669 she started a secret press in Southwark, where things were easier. It wasn’t until 1674 that she paid off her last apprentice, and 1675 when she died.

Anyway, there was a point at the beginning of all that; the point was that in March 1641 they published a religious tract by the future Leveller, Richard Overton. It was snapped up by Star Chamber and banned. By June 1641, Star Chamber was no longer there to do such things, and so things ballooned. Here are some stats about the number of surviving items of print; pen poised? In the 1630s we have about 600 known titles published a year, and it then goes up a bit in 1640, fair dos, to 840. In 1641 – it was 2,042. It went potty, essentially.

For many this was freedom; Henry Burton, who’d been prosecuted alongside William Prynne celebrated what parliament had wrought, writing of how previous ‘many mouths were stopped, many shut up’ but that now

Parliament hath opened their mouths…it has opened the prisons[2]

Many, however, saw this in a very different way – as chaos, mayhem and social disorder. But we’ll come to that later. For the moment, Parliament had allowed a conversation to start, across religion certainly, and increasingly across politics. And the reformers were innovative too, they were aware of the power of communication not only to create debate – and therefore of course, division; but also to bind people together. And to demonstrate, I want to talk a bit more about an extraordinary example of how parliament sought to communicate and build a sense of purpose – the Protestation.

Now I mentioned the Protestation a couple of episodes ago during the dramatic Strafford story but I didn’t want to get distracted at that point. But I do now, so sorry. So, Let me remind you of the circumstances; the debate in parliament about Strafford’s trial and impeachment is in full flow, the King has already signed away many of his prerogative powers of tax, but is refusing to back down on his lead Councillor, the earl of Strafford. And then suddenly the curtains on the hope for peaceful reform are ripped aside when a plot is discovered by the king to seize control of the Tower, another plot discovered to spring Strafford from the Tower and take him to safety. On 3rd May Charles ordered captain Billingsley and a 100 men into the Tower.  There were rumours that the French were planning to invade on behalf of Henrietta Maria’s husband, the army in York was widely perceived to be favourable towards the king and angry with parliament at its lack of pay, and staffed by many Catholic officers. There is a fever of fear and the threat of imminent violence. Golly. In the mayhem in parliament Henry Marten stands up and invokes the spirit of the Elizabethan Bond of Association – the Bond demanded by Francis Walsingham and William Cecil in the midst of the blizzard of assassination plots against Elizabeth, a bond to tie the nation together to defend their Queen. Here, thought Marten, was another moment when the people needed to gather together and join in a bond to defend their nation and its liberties against those that would tear it down.

The Commons rose enthusiastically to the idea; although much later, when Charles II’s closest adviser after the Restoration, Edward Hyde would describe it as an atmosphere of ‘insolence and sedition’, which I suppose is one way of describing a revolution. The Commons appointed a 7 man team to draft the Protestation and voted the same day, and on the 4th May every member at the House of Lords and House of Commons had subscribed. It was not at this time required that anyone else take it; but it was suggested they might like to.

So that’s the background. In the midst of what felt like an existential crisis, the people representing the communities of England and Wales reached for a principle of community and association that was embedded in the Elizabethan Bond; and the Scottish National Covenant must also have been in peoples mind as an example of the power of association. But the principle and its political application goes back further than that, back to the idea of the Commonwealth, the Community of the Realm, the principle expressed in celebration of Simon de Montfort in 1258, in the Song of Lewes:

Therefore the community of the realm take counsel, and let there be decreed what is the opinion of the commonalty, to whom their own laws are best known

Stirring stuff. Nothing about Erastianism there. At it’s heart it is an attempt to reach out for and help create unity in the face of a threat to the Commonwelath.

What did it say? Well there are two bits; a preamble saying why it’s there, and the actual protestation to which the individual is asked to subscribe. As with pretty much everything in the Revolution, there are two dangers the community faced; a challenge to the true religion, in the face of what it described as the ‘designs of the priests and Jesuits, adherents to the see of Rome’. And a challenge to the laws and Commonwealth,

endeavours to subvert the fundamental laws of England and Ireland and to introduce the exercise of an arbitrary and tyrannical government

It’s not specific about who is responsible, apart from the designs of priest and Jesuits, but identifies

pernicious and wicked counsels, practices, plots, and conspiracies

It meaningfully mentions that

‘the long intermission and unhappy breach of Parliaments hath occasioned many illegal taxations,

I’m looking at you Charlie boy; and that all this meant

jealousies raised and fomented betwixt the king and people…to the hazard of his majesty’s royal person

There’s more but you get the gist. Bad people making the good king mess with religion, oppress an the people, and we need to stand together to put that right, and save both ourselves, the people, and our king.

The actual vow as it was described, though basically it becomes known as the protestation Oath and widely treated as such, committed the taker to maintain and defend the true religion as defined by the Church of England, and also maintain and defend,

his majesty’s royal person, honour and estate; as also the power and privileges of Parliament, the lawful rights and liberties of the subject, and every person that maketh this Protestation

The implication is that defending the king and the true religion are linked; it makes no provision as to what happens if those two are in opposition – which of course is what the reformers believe is happening now; but of course they think that’s because of Laud and the Jesuits, and that the king will obviously see the light once those are cleared away. It is a statement in support of the constitution – parliament and the rights of the people; and while it is an individual commitment, it is also a community engagement to everyone who takes part, a collective public engagement.

Parliament had the protestation printed and distributed throughout the country. The Historian David Cressy, who knows a thing or too, comments that it is the first document to be printed by Parliamentary instruction. It’s not a bad place to start. Although it was decided no one should be forced to take the oath for public office – unlike James’ Oath of allegiance for example or the hated Etcetera Oath; parliament hoped everyone would subscribe to the Protestation if they could be persuaded.[3]

So MPs advocated the oath to their local communities and magistrates. It used to be thought that people took it here and there, but you know nothing major; but a recent study by John Walter[4] has shown just how widely and comprehensively the oath was taken. It spread throughout England and Wales from the moment it was printed, many communities were subscribing straightaway, in May 1641. Oliver Cromwell and John Lowry, MPs for Cambridge, recommended it to the aldermen there, adding that ‘combination carries strength’. Robert Harley was an MP for Herefordshire that would prove a royalist stronghold; though he and his wife Brilliana Harley held puritan views, and Brilliana would hold their house at Brampton against all comers until 1643; Brilliana incidentally left a huge collection of letters, so we’ll hear more of her later. Anyway, Robert Harley sent back to their county magistrates the message that:

‘the enclosed Protestation will represent unto you the zeal and prudent care of the House of Commons in asserting the truth of our religion and our fundamental laws

Subscribing to the Protestation often started with the magistracy; a common approach was to use those occasions when they were anyway gathered together – at Quarter sessions of the county courts, or the Borough Assemblies. But quickly reports can be found of whole communities taking part; the Cinque Port of Rye for example took the Protestation on 11th May,

‘at an assembly where almost all of the inhabitants of our town appeared and willingly took it

A sort of process began to be adopted; there were no instructions sent by parliament, but the City of London produced a set of orders. They revolved about the place at the centre of every community in Early Modern England – the church. It was the job of the ministers to present the Protestation to the congregation at the Sunday service; and very often they used the preamble to the Protestation as their text to explain what it was; then in the afternoon the Minister would take the oath and the congregation would follow.

Now when they said subscribe, of course they usually meant the adult males. But one of the features of the Protestation was that it sometimes overrode the rules of Patriarchy; at Middleton, Essex, for example it was reported that

‘not one of the parish abovesaid refused to join in this act; as well women and youth of both sexes gave their full consent’

Now of course such an extraordinary undertaking did not always receive universal support. In the suburban Middlesex parish of St Giles in the Fields, the Laudian minister William Heywood had the protestation read but did his best to diss the whole thing, by going for the mockery approach, using a

‘ridiculous, absurd and disdainful manner, with much scorn and jeering

Though interestingly, the vast majority of the parish took the oath anyway, and then to add insult to William’s injury paid extra to have their names engrossed on the protestation paper. But there were confusions and disagreements; what exactly were the rights and liberties of the people and parliament? Or of the king? Exactly what was the detail of the church beliefs? Sometimes questions such as these created arguments and divisions; in a way the Protestation gave a platform for such disagreements to be played out. In some cases it encouraged radicalism; there were multiple reports of altar rails being smashed and burned, one minister wept that his parishioners turned against the Book of Common Prayer. Another that someone whipped his surplice. His assumption I guess was that it was taken as a popist item of clothing; could, I suppose, simply be that someone took a fancy to it. I quite fancy a surplice.

The text was vague enough both to be exclusive; but also to be used to support a rather wide variety of points of view; so to go back to the debate of a couple of episodes ago, Thomas Edwards used it as support for arguing against Independency; Katherine Chidley used it in the opposite direction. The position of Catholics was interesting, although by now they represented only a tiny percentage of the population – maybe 1-3%, the protestation was vague enough to allow them also to take the oath although for many it was a step too far; at Midhurst 54 Catholics refused the oath, but 35 of them changed their minds later and took it anyway; there’s another report that one recusant elegantly avoided it by being away when the Protestation was subscribed; but his servant, George Barrett, also a recusant,

‘refused to make the Protestation but said he would be true to God and the country’

Which by and large was the position of Catholics in microcosm; desperately and continually making the point that their religion did not mean they were not loyal.

It’s odd to me that I’d never heard about the Protestation Oath, and only discovered it when doing a course and digging around in Henley records which gave a list of 570 names and the note from the minister that ‘Which protestation…was not refused by any to whom it was tendered’. For some reason, the Protestation doesn’t figure very highly in the history of the Civil Wars; maybe because unlike the Scottish National Covenant it didn’t come to define the two sides; many took it as a way specifically of maintaining peace.

But it seems to me to be very significant. I mean could we imagine subscribing to a national statement now in the UK? Not sure that’s relevant but it’s an interesting example of the nature of society; oath taking and subscribing was demonstrably a very serious business back then; people would hold back if they did not feel capable of living by it. Also, there’s a feeling that the taking of oaths could make a real difference, could save the situation. Communities had a forum where they could all make such a public commitment, through an established and shared local institution. It’s a remarkable thing.

The Protestation was also clearly a very unusual event, very out of the ordinary. It was an exceptional example of the nation’s governors reaching out to the governed; as such It had a significant impact in widening political participation and expanding the public sphere; it promoted a popular parliamentarianism, and in that, it’s part of a trend that would be repeated in the Grand remonstrance later in the year. The Protestation would have a long shelf life; Parliament made increasing use of the Protestation to mobilise political, fiscal and military support; groups as wide as levellers and Clubmen would use it to legitimise their activities. It was also in the end, an act of state building.

Right enough of that, back to parliament. A bit of context – there’s not many MPs around over the summer. It had been a long session, so many went home, there was plague in town still which was a powerful added inducement. Therefore it was quite difficult to even work up a forum in parliament; but it didn’t necessarily hold Pym back. The impact really was that the more radical MPs stayed in town, and he normally managed to rustle up a majority in the Lords. But it’s a thin house. And meanwhile, despite the success of the Protestation the strength of the current was slackening for the Reformers on the river of history; there were eddies and back currents. And talking of eddies, let me introduce you to Edward Nicholas.

Honestly, Nicholas doesn’t look like the stuff of heros, although I’m not sure there is such a look. But it’s be sort of noble I guess, maybe square jawed? Dunno, answers on a postcard. But jaw square or weak, Nicholas and Queen Henrietta Maria would become very influential politically for Charles, especially while he was away in Scotland. I’m not sure HM would appreciate me for mentioning Nicholas’ name in conjunction with hers, because the two really didn’t get on; Nicholas complained that the Queen gave Charles bad advice, and HM conceived a vendetta against the man when she learned that he had advised Charles that her Capuchin advisers really ought to go home; these are the Capuchin Monks Henrietta Maria had installed in her household since the late 1630s. The Capuchins had a particular mission for evangelizing in protestant areas in Europe, and so really raised the temperature in England, and could not be described as diplomatic or sensitive in the circumstances[5]. This personal vendetta that would ultimately end Nicholas’ career. But that is for the future, for now both would be instrumental in delivering Charles’ new strategy in England – to build a royalist party in parliament. If victory could not come via force and a coup, it would have to come through political victory.

Nicholas comes across as a rather attractive figure actually. He was a son of Wiltshire, in his late 40s at this time, married to Jane Jaye with 7 children. He’s an attractive figure in that he was both competent, and not one to push himself forward, and it is so rarely the case as a history podcaster that you get to say that. Political history doesn’t seem to be about the shy stay at home types with a passion for knitting or model building. He was also universally recognised for his honesty; and one historian observed that he may not have been able to, and I quote, ‘internalize moral objections for the sake of his own advancement’[6]. I think we all know what he’s talking about. He’d demonstrated his skill at administration for the mighty grand Duke of Buckingham, and made a great job working in the admiralty in the 1630’s, but there his career stalled. So he and Jane were making plans to retire quietly to life in the country. For a spot of homebased hosiery maybe.

To give him his due, Charles recognised that here was a diligent, trustworthy and competent man he could work with; and also after the Strafford affair his existing Secretary of State, Henry Vane senior, had been recategorized in Charles’ mental filing system under ‘S’ for ‘stinker’. So before he went to make friends with the Scots, Charles made Nicholas his secretary of state. Now Nicholas was what you might call a Constitutional Royalist. This is a term often used with regards to the English Revolution, and often it’s used to identify people like Edward Hyde who are currently in the reformer camp, but will end up royalist. But it’s rather difficult – because everyone has a different view of what the perfect and ancient constitution was. I mean really – John Lambert would identify the answer to the problem in 1653 and get people to just write the darn thing down. Though that’s an idea that wouldn’t stick, unless you happen to be every other country in the world apart from Britain. And New Zealand. Anyway. John Pym’s view of the constitution and Edward Hyde’s view were very much part of a Venn diagram, yet to be invented by Swiss Leonard Euler, with an increasingly small overlapping component. So – a belief in the constitution was no longer a rallying cry for unity – with every passing reform, it became a divisive issue, one that everyone argued about.

As far as Nicholas was concerned, there were no changes needed; we already had

‘the best composed & equallest Gov[er]nem[en]t that ev[er] was Constituted under any Monarch in the world’[7]

So stop messing with it was, in essence, his view. Nicholas was being joined by other advocates that things had gone far enough now. Lucius Carey, Viscount Falkland shrank from the religious radicalism of the reformers, and wanted now only the best way to peace. Edward Hyde was also starting his journey over to the side that had cookies away from the side that drank only water and 10 day old rye bread. There’s a lovely conversation between Hyde and Charles around this time which rather demonstrates the king’s talent for party leadership and engendering loyalty in those that basically agree with him. The two had an interview, and Charles began by complimenting him, saying he had

Heard from all hands how much he was beholden to him

He then asked him about the prospects of the Root and Branch Bill then in play. Now Hyde was also not happy at religious radicalism, fond of the dear old mother church of England, and said that he thought it could be prevented. Charles looked at him gravely, and conspiratorially confided

If you look to it that they do not carry it before I go to Scotland…I will undertake for the church after that time

I mean I’m sorry. But that’s a genius sleight of hand isn’t it, king to subject, drawing him into partnership, stroking his ego as just the man to help save the church on who, he the king could rely absolutely, personal love and interest. Hyde was smitten. Hyde was lost to the cause of water and Rye bread.

OK we should also talk about HM, because she will be central now. After Strafford squelched and rolled, she stayed quiet for a while. Or that’s to say she appeared to retreat to her own counsels. But her attitude had changed from the rather conciliatory role she’s played before Strafford’s death. Partly, she feared for her life, as I have mentioned; partly she shared Charles’s view of the dignity of monarchy; and partly she worried that Charles’ position was deteriorating. Her letters to her sister Caroline  are full of anguish that she was like a prisoner, that the king had lost all his power[8]. So she becomes now a figure pushing Charles on to being more active and aggressive; and in her attitude, she had none of the constraints Charles continued to feel about the constitutional rules that needed to be observed.

HM would also always take a very international view, which sort of fits with being the daughter of a king of France, and thoroughly motivated by the politics of dynasty. So she looked throughout her life for alliances and schemes with France, Spain and the Papal court, and indeed in Catholic Ireland; with little positive result. The European powers really had troubles of their own to worry about. But Charles followed her lead on this; at this time, for example, she worked with Count Rossetti the Papal Nuncio to try and organise a subsidy of £150,000 for Charles. She had continual discussions with the French Ambassador to boot.

When Charles left for Scotland he had a problem; the Privy Council was something of a mess, unable to offer him the support he needed as a result of the appointments he’d made as part of the Bedford compromise. Henry Vane was tainted; Edward Nicholas promising but new. It was to HM therefore that he turned to boss things.

The Venetian Ambassador’s reports home confirm that HM revelled in this role, she held her court at Oatlands Palace south of London, and was self confident and decisive, very prepared to override advice she did not agree with. Edward Nichola may not see eye to eye with her – but on many matters it was to the Queen that he was directed for a decision by Charles, so he had no choice but to do her bidding.

In terms of strategy, HM had reached the conclusion that a military coup was the best way to solve Charles’ problems; which she discussed with the French Ambassador.  As we’ve just seen, Charles had resolved to follow that strategy in Scotland once politics seems to have failed; and in England had reached the view that conciliation with the Reformers was now a cul de sac, and he must defeat them politically.

In the absence of a coup, HM felt Charles was being politically too irresolute, that he should now be more firm and forceful to

Encourage those who although at heart supporters of his majesty’s greatness have not had the courage to declare themselves hitherto

Well, the Queen and her husband, and his new chief advisor were aligned, whatever the personal issues were between them. So as Charles left for the confrontations we’ve heard about in Scotland, his home team were set a challenge; to build a party to defeat the Reformers in parliament. With the Protestation doing the rounds and Pym ascendent, it would have looked like a mountain to climb. But we’ll see how that goes next time.

[1] Lincoln, M: ‘London and the 17th Century’, pp74-77

[2] Healey, J: ‘The Blazing World’, p145

[3] Cressy, David: ‘The Protestation Protested, 1641 and 1642’, The Historical Journal, Jun., 2002, Vol. 45, No. 2 (Jun., 2002), pp. 251-279

[4] Walter, John: ‘Covenanting Citizens: The Protestation Oath and Popular Political Culture in the English Revolution’

[5] Hibbard, C: ‘Henrietta Maria’ ODNB

[6] Baron, S: ‘Edward Nicholas’, ODNB

[7] Adamson, J: ‘ The English Civil War’, P41

[8] Hibbard, C: ‘Henrietta Maria’ ODNB


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